Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims Get Scientology Detox
But doctors skeptical about detoxification program
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 7:30 AM CDT
A warning sign stands in a field contaminated with dioxin near Danang airport at a former US military base in Danang, Vietnam Aug. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Maika Elan)

(Newser) – In an attempt to detoxify people exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese government is relying on … L. Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology founder developed a detoxification method espoused by Tom Cruise and other bigwig Scientologists. The "Purification Rundown" or "Hubbard method" involves taking vitamins and minerals and sweating a lot due to exercise and time in a sauna, according to local news reports. But doctors and other experts tell the New York Times such a treatment may not actually work.

And a spokesperson from the American Embassy in Hanoi says the US government is not involved in the program and is also "not aware of any safe, effective detoxification treatment for people with dioxin in body tissues." But a doctor at one Vietnamese military hospital is enthusiastic about the treatment, telling a local newspaper it "has been applied in many countries." Another doctor confirms his medical facility was trained in the use of the method by the Association for Better Living and Education, a Scientology-financed organization. But don't worry, he assures, "They are not preaching religion."